Today thanks to Michael Miller at NDSU library I got the links to a bunch of works by Viktor Krieger, an ethnic German born in Jambul Kazakhstan. Alot of the work he has available on the web deals with the settlement of Russian-Germans in Kazkahstan before 1917. I find the topic interesting, but it is really outside my main research interests. He did, however, have two pieces on the labor army available on the web which were quite good. One was in Russian and one in German. The one in Russian included some primary sources, letters written by a labor army conscript to his family. These letters are fascinating on a number of levels. One peculiarity that Krieger points out is that although they are written in German (he reproduces them in the original language) they contain obvious Russian influences. The most obvious one being the occasional use of Russian rather than German nouns. I could spot those pretty easily.
At anyrate the new sources and a call from my mother in which she asked about it, inspired me to start again on my popular audience book. I printed out the 55 pages I have written so far and reread it. It read really well. I don't think I will be adding too much to the section on the labor army, however, except direct quotations from survivors. It is pretty complete. It is the sections on the 1920s, 30s and 70s that need alot more work. I am going to start writing a page a day on the manuscript again. I still have not written today's page, but I did go through and edit the other 55 pages.